Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know what happened on last night's episode of Top Chef, stop reading now.
With the top six firmly in place back in San Antonio, the Top Chef Texas cheftestants got a surprise at the start of Wednesday night's show. As they discussed the loss of Beverly Kim, last week's guest judge Charlize Theron popped back to the stew room to praise the chefs' cooking. "I'm such a nerdy fan," she said while the chefs merely gushed at her presence.
Moving on to the Quickfire, the chefs stood before host Padma Lakshmi and guest judges Emeril Lagasse and Cat Cora. The task at hand was to split into three teams of two to peel, de-vein and butterfly shrimp; make a pound of fresh fettuccine; and shuck a crate of corn and remove the kernels and prepare a dish using those components ... in 45 minutes. It looked like Spiaggia's Sarah Grueneberg and her partner, Lindsay Autry, had a solid lead, but ultimately when the judges tasted Chris Jones (Moto) and Grayson Schmitz's chili shrimp dish, the latter walked away with the win and $10,000 to split.
With a win under their belts, Jones and Schmitz—along with the other teams—now had to go up against their teammates for the Elimination Challenge. They had to create a dish that would be appropriate to be served at a "block party" event for the San Antonio Food Bank to help end hunger. Cooking for 200 people, each chef had to construct a healthy version of their dish. Some contestants adhered to that, while others attempted to, but fell short.
Jones, who pre-made chicken salad sandwiches with a tofu mayonnaise emulsion and a watermelon salad topped with pineapple ice; Grueneberg, who made Calabrese-style turkey meatballs and a summer vegetable salad; and Edward Lee, who made a short rib kalbi on bao ended up in the bottom three. Ultimately, Jones, with his "man buns," lost out with due to pre-made sandwiches that were too dry and because the pineapple ice froze the dish with some judges getting ice chips in what was supposed to be a refreshing watermelon salad.
Jones' departure leaves Grueneberg the last-remaining Chicago chef still duking it out for the title of top chef. Or is she? In the Last Chance Kitchen on bravotv.com, Jones went up against another Chicago chef, Beverly Kim (Aria), to see who would get a fighting chance to get back into the competition.
Entering the kitchen after receiving his note from chef Tom Colicchio, Jones was confused and said the experience of thinking you're going home to getting another shot was surreal. Colicchio asked fellow Moto chef Richie Farina what he thought about the showdown who said that Jones was "going to destroy it." Before letting them go at it, Colicchio announced that the winner of next week's Last Change Kitchen challenge would walk back into the main competition for a chance at the big prize.
Their challenge was to create a dish using dishes in mystery boxes that would be introduced while they were cooking, at any time. The first box contained random ingredients including marshmallow, pine nuts, parsnips, buttermilk and lamb. The first additional ingredient: radicchio. Jones: ohhhh, bitter. Kim: perfect! Next, white anchovy. During the tasting, Colicchio remarked how the dishes looked somewhat similar, but that one chef did a better job weaving the ingredients together and that was ... Beverly. So if she can knock out the next person, we could have at least one Chicago chef in the top four.